Aircraft Interiors Expo Report

The Aircraft Interiors Expo 2010 in Hamburg, Germany, attracted more than 7,300 visitors over its run from 18 to 20 May. Show organisers say the number of airlines in attendance increased this year, with 852 representatives from 200 carriers visiting the show.

1st Jun 2010

Qatar chooses Thales next-generation IFE

Thales announced during the Hamburg show that Qatar Airways had chosen the French company’s TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) system for its ordered fleet of 30 Boeing 787 aircraft, plus 30 options.

The airline will use the system to provide entertainment programming alongside integrated Swift Broadband cabin connectivity. The system “will allow every passenger to access current news, sports, social networks and other mobile applications,” Thales says.
The touch-screen displays range in size from 10.6 inches to 17 inches. Passengers will also be able to connect their personal electronic devices to the system to listen to and view their own content on the system’s big screens. The TopSeries system will also feature 3D audio, giving the effect of high-fidelity surround sound.

Qatar has also selected a new intelligent, touch-screen passenger-control unit with multi-tasking capabilities that enables passengers to control games and IFE selections in the palm of their hand. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the in-flight offering on the airline’s B787 fleet will exceed what is currently available.

“Our 787 aircraft will be equipped with the industry’s leading in-flight entertainment and communications technology,” he said. “The airline is continuing to expand at a rapid pace and with the opening of New Doha International Airport in addition to the delivery of our first B787s scheduled for 2011, the future is looking very bright indeed.”
Qatar Airways had previously appointed Thales to provide IFE and communications systems for 24 brand-new single-aisle A320 family aircraft as well as six retrofits for A320s already in the airline’s fleet.

Lantal, ZIM launch new premium-economy seat

Lantal Textiles used the Aircraft Interiors Expo as the launch platform for its new premium-economy class seat, developed together with ZIM Flugsitz and featuring Lantal’s Pneumatic Comfort System.
Lantal says the air-cushion system combines posture support with operational and ecological benefits. It was first introduced into commercial widebody service by SWISS more than a year ago and has maintained a “faultless” track record, according to the manufacturer.

The Pneumatic Comfort System offers improved lumbar support and massage functions, which, the manufacturer says, boosts passenger loyalty and is “a key marketing asset for increasing the airline’s passenger load factor in a highly competitive environment”.

The air cushion system also offers significant weight savings and durability, translating into lower operating costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

“Thanks to the individually adjustable firmness of the cushions, passengers feel no pressure points even on the longest flights,” Lantal says. “This high level of comfort is fully available across the entire product life cycle. Airlines can differentiate themselves with the Pneumatic Comfort System and appeal to a broader segment of passengers.”

Panasonic announces Lufthansa eX2 deal

Panasonic Avionics announced at the Hamburg show that Lufthansa will deploy the manufacturer’s eX2 in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) system on its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.
Panasonic's eX2 IFEC system will provide Lufthansa passengers in all classes with “a full complement of entertainment and communication options at their fingertips”, Panasonic says.
“The eX2 IFEC system will provide an enhanced passenger experience with access to a wide variety of audio and video on demand (AVOD) selections including the latest feature films in up to eight languages, TV series, international radio channels, CDs, games, flight and connecting gate information, all displayed on in-seat monitors,” the company says. “The user friendly interface gives passengers a choice of 10 different navigation languages.”
Lufthansa has ordered 15 A380s, the first of which was delivered in mid-May. The aircraft are being configured with 526 seats in three classes. Four are expected to be in service by the end of the year, initially operating on routes between Frankfurt and Tokyo, Beijing and Johannesburg. The first commercial flight will depart for Tokyo on 11 June.

Asian Aviation at a glance